Get, set, cook

Updated on Aug 31, 2012 06:39 PM IST

Don’t know the difference between baking and basting? We try out a new city studio that promises to make a better cook out of you

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HT Image
Hindustan Times | BySumedha Deo Sumedha Deo, Mumbai

With the growing popularity of food magazines and TV channels, an increasing number of people are taking to cooking. While most kitchen rookies have it easy these days, with recipes easily available on the Internet, those who prefer professional training, have good news. Food writer Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal’s new cook studio, A Perfect Bite, hopes to suit exactly those needs.

Located in Saki Naka, Andheri (East), the studio has been set up by Rushina and her husband Shekhar Ghildiyal, and features state-of-the-art cooking stations that are stocked with fine ingredients and even finer equipment. A entral demo and prep station ensures that all participants are up to speed with the class. A pantry filled with exotic ingredients, sleek Siemens cooking ranges and a library of cook books complete the dream kitchen.

We tried out the Savoury Bakes class conducted by food blogger Saee Koranne-Khandekar. Over four hours, the programme promised to take us through five recipes — Pesto Rolls, Cheese and Chive Crackers, Mac and Cheese, Mushroom Quiche and Chorizo Muffins.

Our stations were stocked with the required ingredients and equipment, so we got straight to work. To save time, Saee made sure we worked on all the recipes simultaneously. We started with learning how to knead the dough for our Pesto Rolls as Saee monitored our moves closely, always ready with a quick tip. With the dough left to rise, we went on to make the batter for the Cheese and Chive crackers. Since the batter would need to be refrigerated for a while, we got to chopping the onions and garlic for the Mac and Cheese.

After we put the crackers into the ovens, we got down to preparing our rolls. As the rolls eventually replaced the crackers in the furnaces and began turning golden brown, we prepared the custard for the Mushroom Quiche.

Mis ‘chef’ managed:Since the Mac and Cheese was ready by then, and lunch-time was upon us, we gorged on our own creations. The other dishes took their time getting baked, while we ate. After a short break, we put the quiche together and started prepping for the last item — Chorizo Muffins.

The four hours were planned efficiently by Saee, who made sure we never had to kill time waiting for an oven or counter to be free. We called it a day when we wrapped up all our food—easily a meal for six — in tin foil to take home and share with friends and family.


Cheese and Chive Crackers

150 gm flour
125 gm butter
1 tsp mustard
60 gm cheddar, grated
1 tbsp chives, chopped

Beat butter and mustard together until creamy.
Add grated cheese and chives then mix.
Add flour while mixing lightly. Turn into cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out on a floured surface into 5 mm thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180° C until golden brown.
Cool completely and store in an airtight jar.
Chorizo Breakfast Muffins(makes 6 large)

1 cup plain flour
I tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 cup chorizo sausages, chopped
1 cup cheddar grated
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 180° C.
In a bowl, combine egg, milk, water and oil.
In another bowl, combine everything else.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix using spatula.
Spoon into greased muffin mould and bake for 15 minutes at 180° C.

Pesto Rolls

225 gm flour
3/4 tsp fresh of 1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Lukewarm water
2 tbsp pesto

Place yeast and sugar in a cup of lukewarm water and allow to froth for 10 minutes.
Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add yeast mixture. Knead while adding water.
Add oil, salt and knead again. Turn out on a work surface and knead using pushing-pulling motions until dough is elastic and silky.Cover and leave to rise until double in size.
Remove dough on floured surface and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Spread pesto on top and roll up.
Cut into equal pieces
Place cut rolls on greased baking tray and leave to rest until double in size again.
Sprinkle with water and bake at 190° C for 15-20 minutes
Brush with oil as soon as you remove from oven.

Though the cost for each class differs, the pricing starts at Rs 1,000. The session we attended cost Rs 2,500. If you enjoy cooking and don’t want to have to run around for the apparatus, these studio sessions are well worth their price, since you also get to take what you cooked home with you.

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